Ocean Beach Blog
Welcome to the Ocean Beach DOG Weblog...
This weblog serves as an online journal whose primary purpose is to
compile responses to the various court filings and press releases produced by the Center for Biological Diversity's staff
attorney Brent Plater. Mr. Plater's agenda calls for the complete ban of off leash recreation in all GGNRA
areas. In order to accomplish his objective, the Center for Biological Diversity has aligned itself with various
groups Mr. Plater has arbitrarily designated as "animal welfare organizations". Evidence will bear out that nothing could
be further from the truth....
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Judge Alsup Speaks...
4:48 pm pdt
CDB's petition cites an "emergency" in the GGNRA to justify the ban of off-leash recreation completely from the GGNRA.
Judge Alsup's decision, however, states: "And, the government concedes that there was no 'emergency' within the meaning
of Section 1.5(b)" of 36 Code of Federal Regulations. (Order of Affirmance, page 6, lines 17-18.) No emergency,
no legal basis for a ban.
Courtesy of member attorney Steve Sayad
An Open Letter to Guide Dogs for the Blind
11:16 am pdt
Dear Ms. Barak,
I am stunned that Guide Dogs for the Blind is supporting
the petition for an emergency ban on off-leash recreation in all GGNRA parks. I have a former Guide Dogs breeder, Stephanie.
The highlight of every day of Miss Stephanie's life was to run off-leash at Fort Funston. Her off-leash recreation kept
her healthy and socialized. Because she was healthy, she produced large, healthy litters.
Have you ever
been to any of the GGNRA parks? Have you seen the joy shared by the dogs and their owners? Have you seen how responsible
these dog owners are? Are you aware of the care these individuals take of these parks? Have you seen the bond
that has developed among dog owners who have walked their dogs in these parks for decades? Do you have any idea how
special these parks are to the hundreds of dog owners who use them every day of every year?
I have financially
supported Guide Dogs for the past four years. I can assure you that Guide Dogs will not receive another dime of my money,
due to this irresponsible position you have taken. I don't know what your motivation is, but it certainly doesn't seem
to be the welfare of the dogs who benefit from off-leash recreation in the GGNRA parks.
Thank you for your careful
consideration of the above.
Editor's note: Lydia Bosch is one of the attorneys that assisted in the early (2000) fight to maintain our off-leash
rights according to the 1979 Pet Policy. She now lives in North Carolina and watches the National Park Service and
Judge Alsup's actions from there.
An Open Letter to Bob Egelko ( SF Chronicle)
10:04 am pdt
For several years I was an attorney representing the SF SPCA in this controversy
with the National Park Service over off-leash recreation in the GGNRA. You can obtain background regarding the controversy
by perusing Chronicle articles, particularly ones written by Peter Fimrite. More detailed information on the historical
facts can be found in my 40 page Comment for the Advanced Notice of Propsed Rulemaking located at Ocean Beach Dog web site.
The web site also contains scientific articles and NPR reports regarding the
interaction of off leash dogs and the snowy plover at Ocean Beach. The Daphne Hatch NPR report on the snowy plover summarizing
over one survey at Ocean Beach shows that numbers of plovers at Ocean Beach increased while off leash recreation was permitted
throughout the entire beach. Furthermore direct interaction between off leash dogs and plovers was de minibus, over
5000 dogs were observed and only 19 were detected chasing plovers. Over 99% of the dogs had no impact on the birds.
Nevertheless, much of Ocean Beach was closed to off leash recreation in 1997. Since that time the number of birds roosting
on the beach plummeted, at least during the years I have data (See Comment for detail). It's unclear at this time what
impact the Judge's ruling will have on this section of Ocean Beach closed un the rationale of protecting the plovers.
But if the leash regulation is lifted, the reintroduction of off leash dogs in this roosting area (the birds nest on the Bay
not at Ocean Beach) will have no impact the polver colony. in fact, Ranger hatch admitted this during meetings over the initial
As for Crissy Field, you can find detailed citations to historical documents
confirming that the National Park Service agreed to provide over 60 acres of off leash recreation in the so-called habitat
restoration area. They agreed to do so because their fund raising efforts to finance the restoration was not
successful until there was a clarification over continued off-leash use of portions of this area. The entire restoration project was funded by private contributions. Donations were made contingent
upon the promise that 60 acres would be available to the public for this recreation. Plater and the other parties
to the petition would now undue that promise and appropriate the entire area for their own purpose.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
An Open Letter to Guide Dogs for the Blind
8:31 am pdt
I trust you and your organization has a full and complete understanding of the backdrop for what
I understand is a request by various groups (most of whom happened to appear as amici on the appeal in United
States v. Barley, et al.) for an emergency regulation to impose 36 CFR 2.15(a)(2) in the areas currently subject to the
GGNRA's 1979 Pet Policy, a voice-control policy that encompasses less than one percent of the GGNRA lands.
The issues currently being raised by these organizations were raised on appeal and implicitly
rejected by the Court. The purported evidence upon which Mr. Plater relies was objected to by the defendants but not
stricken by the Court. The Court asked the prosecution (which Mr. Plater's clients were aligned with) whether they were
claiming an emergency existed in order to obviate compliance with 36 CRF 1.5 and the U.S. Attorney (counsel for the Department
of Interior and NPS) said "no." Mr. Plater could have interjected a contrary position but did not.
Now, these organizations are attempting to achieve through the real party in interest in the
litigation (the NPS) to have it issue an emergency regulation when its own attorneys made clear to the Court that no emergency
While these organizations may not yet be in contempt of Court, their actions are contemptuous
and their alleged evidence supports no change in policy absent full public notice, full public hearing, and action that is
not arbitrary in light of the public comment. The process set forth in 36 CFR 1.5 is a very democratic one, but the
organizations that Mr, Plater represents have no interest in acting fairly; they will do whatever it takes to push their position
It is sad if you and your organization fall for such a prank; rest assured that if you do, you
too will be exposed for any such fraudulent conduct.
CBD Recruits Guide Dogs for the Blind
8:25 am pdt
CBD At It Again!
Yes, the Center for Biological Diversity, and their mouthpiece,
attorney Brent Plater, are at it again Along with the usual cast of characters, (i.e., Golden Gate Audobon Society,
Coleman Advocates, the Sierra Club, EQUP, Yerba Buena Chapter of the Calif. Native Plant Society, etc.) the CBD has issued
a press release announcing their submission of a petition calling for an emergency ban of off-leash recreation throughout
One comes to expect such "end run" tactics from
these groups since that has been their practice throughout the years. Their complete and uttter contempt of court (i.e.,
Judge Alsup's appellate decision reinstating the 1979 GGNRA Pet Policy), as well as their making a total mockery of the
prescribed Negotiated Rulemaking Process (their press release cites that NR is for the express purpose "to implement
leash laws"), tells one all they need to know about the petitioners.
However, the recruitment of Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB)
to assist in their bidding is disturbing. GDB is an organization that has historically enjoyed great support
from the dog community. It would appear that GDB has no problem asking that dogs make great sacrifices for us and our handicapped,
yet they can't seem to find it in their hearts to provide these heroes a place to play fetch or to swim.
Please take the earliest opportunity to let Guide Dogs for
the Blind know how you feel about their participation in this matter. Let them know about the financial ramifications
of their decision. GDB contact information follows:
Guide Dogs for the Blind